File - A general view shows the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Dammam city, 450 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, 23 November 2007. AFP PHOTO/Hassan Ammar
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Saudi Arabia has begun drawing down its foreign currency reserves for the first time since 2009 to cover a record state budget deficit caused by the plunge in oil prices, data from the Saudi central bank indicated Thursday.Analysts believe that while some of the recent fall is due to the strong U.S. dollar, which has eroded the value of non-dollar assets, Saudi Arabia has stopped putting new money into the reserves on a net basis and is instead taking out money.The central bank acts as Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund; the vast majority of the assets are believed to be in dollars, especially U.S. Treasury bonds.
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